HILLSBOROUGH: Lottery for 54 deer hunting permits opens

Wildlife group describes year’s program

By Kelly Velocci, Packet Media Group
   Hillsborough will offer 54 permits for use of township land for hunting this fall.
   Permits are awarded using a lottery system, and hunters can apply now, said Hillsborough Township Wildlife Management Commission Chairperson Bob Matros.
   The commission presented a report on its 2012-13 hunting season at the Township Committee meeting on June 25, when committee approved reuse of 19 township-owned parcels for hunting.
   The commission will continue its “Hunters Helping the Hungry” program, as well as require each hunter to use a tree stand and harness to ensure safety.
   Hunters Helping the Hungry is a venison food bank program that encourages hunters to donate harvested deer. During the 2012-13 hunting season, 21 deer were donated, yielding about 900 pounds of venison.
   The wildlife commission suggested a newly acquired township property, located on East Mountain Road and Mill Lane, be available to permit-issued hunters.
   Township Administrator Anthony Ferrera said a decision has yet to be made on the best use of the property. The Wildlife Management Commission, Open Space Commission and the police department will issue a report with suggested uses of the land, Mr. Ferrera said. Hillsborough Township purchased the 237 acres on Nov. 14 for more than $3 million.
   Mr. Ferrera said a farmer and gun club previously leased the land. The club will no longer use the property, he said, but the farmer will continue to work the land. Bad weather has delayed removing hunting structures used on the property by the gun club, Mr. Ferrera said.
   The commission also will continue to permit coyote hunting, as it has for four years. None have been harvested, Mr. Matros said. Since the Wildlife Management Commission’s inception in 2004, it has a 100-percent safety record, according to Mr. Matros.